Scientific Observing

in Scientific Perspectivism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226292120
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226292144 | DOI:
Scientific Observing

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No one questions that the claims of contemporary scientists are in some sense based on the observation of nature. The problem is how to understand the scientific process of observing nature. The first step is to realize that virtually all scientific observation now involves instrumentation. This chapter argues that observation using instruments is perspectival in roughly the same ways that normal human color vision is perspectival. It considers instruments in two different sciences: one, astronomy, concerned with the very large; and the second, neuroscience, concerned with something relatively small, the human brain. In both cases, the chapter indicates those respects in which the relevant instruments are perspectival. Something similar holds for scientific instruments generally.

Keywords: scientific observation; instrumentation; perspectival; astronomy; neuroscience

Chapter.  6962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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